x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Perez dominates in GP2 Asia feature

The Mexican driver showed why he is graduating to Sauber in Formula One next season with a dominant display in the feature race.

ABU DHABI // Sergio Perez demonstrated why he is graduating to Formula One next season with a dominant display in the GP2 Asia feature race yesterday.

The Mexican driver, who will partner Kamui Kobayashi in the Sauber-Ferrari team next year, won the penultimate round of the championship in his Barwa Addax car to secure second place in the championship. Perez's performance made the race a largely processional affair as he was never really threatened once he had got the jump on pole sitter Oliver Turvey's isport International car at the start of yesterday's race.

The only time he trailed was during the pit-stops when Pastor Maldonado, the Venezuelan who has already been crowned champion, stayed on track.

But any threat from the Ramax driver to Perez was ended when he was given a drive-through penalty for overtaking during a safety car period after Adrian Zaugg's Trident Racing car was spun round by Michael Herck at Turn 11.

Maldonado would eventually finish a distant 15th, while Perez cruised to victory, a commanding 21.065 seconds ahead of Turvey, with the podium being completed by Sam Bird's ART.

Today's shorter 22-lap race sees the top eight positions reversed so it is Josef Kral, of the Czech Republic, who will start from pole.

gcaygill@thenational.ae